Wolf management plan draws big crowd at Sequim, Washington

Wolf management plan draws big crowd. By Diane Urbani de la Paz. Peninsula Daily News

More hunters now relying on mountain bikes

An environmental and hunt-friendly method of transport?

This article might well be read along with the one I posted, The confessions of an off-road-vehicle outlaw.

A horse is very useful hunting, especially for getting your kill out, but many people don’t have the means or the property to keep a horse. Rather than turn to an ATV, this might be a good solution.  Of course, for a raw and, I think, ethically satisfying hunting experience packing it on foot out is best. Having done this myself, however, it is misery.

Four Montana wolves taken on the Rocky Mountain Front

Fifty out of 75 tags are now filled in Montana wolf hunt-

Four wolves taken along the Front. By Karl Puckett. Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer. The article provides some detailed information, but in short three of the four wolves were shot on private land southwest of Augusta, MT in the Bean Lake area. The 4th wolf was shot in Lime Gulch, west of Augusta.

Americans flock to the nation’s “best idea”

Record Number of visits to Yellowstone Park in 2009-

This has been in the news the last couple days. Rocky Barker blogged today about it, tying it to the recent popular PBS television film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”  Here is Barker’s blog in the Idaho Statesman. Americans flock to nation’s “best idea.”

My comment is that it’s true Americans love their national parks, except for a relative handful of anti-government types. I also know from experience in the field and teaching that most Americans are generally clueless about the rest of the public lands they own: national forests, national wildlife refuges, and, especially the BLM lands.  Granted people will say, “Oh yes, the national forests, but it doesn’t come to mind quickly. This gives a great opportunity for special* interest groups to dominate how these other public lands are used. Lack of public knowledge makes hard to organize folks to defend what we might call “the public interest” in these matters.

Politicians and interest groups that have big plans for the public lands often try to smooth folks by saying “our plans in no way involve our wonderful national parks.”  What they don’t say is their plans will affect maybe millions of acres of BLM lands.

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* As a political scientist I prefer the more neutral term “interest group, which simply means an organized group that seeks to have the government do (or not do) something over which it has jurisdiction.